• MS Munich, Bavarian State Library, Cod. arab. 1294: A Guide to Zaydī Kalām-Studies during the Ṭāhirid and Early Qāsimite Periods (Mid-15th to Early 18th Centuries)

    Gregor M. Schwarb (see profile)
    Islamicate Studies
    Fifteenth century, Sixteenth century, Seventeenth century, Islam--Study and teaching, Theology
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    islam, manuscript description, medieval arabic literature, 15th century, 16th century, 17th century, Islamic studies
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    The article offers a bibliographical aperçu of Zaydī-Muʿtazilī Kalām-studies from the 15th through 18th centuries based on MS Munich, Bavarian State Library, Cod. arab. 1294. This codex contains ʿAbd Allāh b. Muḥammad al-Naǧrī’s as yet unedited K. Mirqāt al-anẓār, a major kalām textbook which for almost three centuries constituted the backbone of Zaydī kalām-studies. The body of the text is surrounded by extensive marginal notes (ḥawāšī) which mostly consist of quotations from a wide variety of Zaydī and Sunnī sources dating from the 4th/10th century up to the copy date of the manuscript in 1108/1696. In contrast to the early reception of Bahšamī kalām among the Zaydīs in Yemen during the 6th/12th and 7th/13th centuries, which has been the focus of several studies over the last few decades, the subsequent periods remain largely unexplored. The sources of this period, which have yet to be investigated, provide a window into an important moment in the history of Muslim Kalām. They are remarkable for their intellectual vitality, their engagement with and critical reception of multiple rival intellectual traditions and contemporaneous scholarly trends and the accordingly dense network of intertextualities they display. This article represents the first step toward filling this lacuna in the intellectual history of the Islamic world in general and of Yemen in particular. The article also discusses the structure and reception history of Ibn al-Murtaḍá's (d. 840/1436-37) al-Baḥr al-zakhkhār and Ghāyāt al-afkār, Zaydī scholars studying with Sunnī teachers and engaging with the later Ashʿarite tradition; Sunnī-Ashʿarī commentaries on and refutations of Zaydī theological manuals, culminating in al-Quwayʿī's (d. 1068/1658) pseudonymic Kitāb al-Nibrās and the ensuing Zaydī counter-refutations such as Kitāb al-Iḥtirās ʿan nār al-Nibrās.
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    6 years ago
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